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Glasgow Midwife Mary Doogan slams RCM’s “gruesome decision” to support abortion up to birth

by | May 31, 2016

Editor’s note. This comes from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children–SPUC.

Mary (left) and Connie (right) went to the Supreme Court of the UK to defend midwives' rights

Mary (left) and Connie (right) went to the Supreme Court of the UK to defend midwives’ rights

One of the Glasgow Midwives who went to the Supreme Court to defend the rights of midwives to not be involved in abortion has called on colleagues to “forcefully refuse” to back the “horror” position recently adopted by the Royal College of Midwives [RCM].

Mary Doogan, who along with her colleague Connie Wood went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2014 to fight for the right to conscientious objection, is part of a growing backlash from ordinary midwives against the RCM.

Professor Cathy Warwick, the RCM’s chief executive, recently announced that the professional body will be backing a campaign by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) calling for abortion to be removed from criminal law. This would include abolishing the current 24-week time limit for abortions to be carried out (although abortion is also currently permitted up to birth if the unborn child is suspected to be disabled).


As SPUC reported, Professor Warwick’s position has been called into question following the revelation that she is also heavily involved in BPAS’s work, and even chairs the BPAS board of trustees. There have been multiple calls for her to resign from her £155,000-a-year role at the RCM.

Now Mary Doogan has added to this pressure, arguing there is a clear “conflict of interest” at the heart of the RCM’s “gruesome decision”.

The Glasgow midwife said: “The professional trade union body, which has the role of representing the vast majority of midwives, has taken the remarkable step of endorsing a campaign which is radically at odds with a positive regard for the babies that midwives work so hard to bring safely into the world.

“The British Pregnancy Advisory Service [Bpas] makes a profit from abortion as a private provider and is calling for abortion to birth to be decriminalised.

“Its chairman is Professor Cathy Warwick, who happens to be the chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives and she has reportedly signed midwives up to the gruesome plan of BPAS.

“It is hard to see how there could not be a conflict of interest.”

Glasgow Midwives

Even before the RCM announced its full-throated support of BPAS and abortion without restrictions, the right to conscientious objection for pro-life midwives and other medical staff was under enormous attack.

Mary Doogan was one such victim, along with her colleague Connie Wood. Together they became known as the Glasgow Midwives, as SPUC backed the midwives in their 7-year-long struggle for justice which went all the way to the UK Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

Mary and Connie worked for over 20 years caring for babies and their mothers and between them delivered around 10,000 babies.

SPUC support and RCM opposition

The midwives had been instructed by their employers to supervise late-term abortions on their labour ward, but steadfastly refused. Their case was financed by SPUC, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Shamefully, the RCM were involved in that court case as well – teaming up with BPAS to back the health board and oppose Mary and Connie’s appeal. In that light, the recent news about Cathy Warwick and widespread collusion between the RCM and BPAS cannot be entirely surprising to pro-lifers.

“This is really unbelievable”

However, the announcement that the RCM will campaign for full decriminalisation of abortion has still sent shockwaves throughout the profession. As Mary says:

“I entered the profession to bring life into the world not to end life. This is really unbelievable. An unbelievable decision taken in the name of the majority of midwives.

“I would hope that the horror of this position and what is now being demanded of all midwives would penetrate minds and hearts and make them stand up and forcefully refuse to take part in this and oppose this policy decision.”

Categories: Conscience Rights